Date on Senior Honors Thesis


Document Type

Senior Honors Thesis

Degree Name




Degree Program

History, MA, Humanities, MA

Committee Chair

Kleinkopf, Kathryn

Committee Member

Beattie, Blake

Committee Member

Turner, Joseph

Author's Keywords

apocalyptic literature; early Christianity; Hell; gender; wealth


Literature depicting Hell in late antique Christianity reveals more than the theological concern for one’s eternal soul, revealing the underlying values and morals of the growing society. Borrowing from Roman, Greek, and Jewish culture, Christians were seeking to set themselves apart while also grappling with their past around them. Through visions of Hell, apocalyptic literature in late antique Christian society exhibits the control exercised over parishioners, specifically control over their bodies and their wealth. The moral laws from Greek, Roman, and Jewish influences is evident through early Christian literature, which dictate the ways in which people are regulated by Christianity in Late Antiquity. Traditions surrounding the afterlife and Hell not only reflect society’s oversight over bodies and wealth but were also used as a method of control.